2018 County Health Rankings show how Virginia is improving

virginiaLoudoun County ranks healthiest in Virginia, according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

“We know that health is influenced by many factors, and while we have made great strides, there are still gaps we must address,” said State Health Commissioner Marissa J. LevineMDMPHFAAFP. “I applaud those who are working to create healthy, connected communities and improve health opportunities for all people in Virginia.”

According to the 2018 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Virginia, starting with most healthy, are Loudoun County, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church City and Poquoson City. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are the cities of Petersburg, Martinsville, Emporia, Galax and Covington.

“The Crater Health District is proud to be working with our community to improve health outcomes for all people in our district,” said Alton Hart, Jr., MD, MPH, Director, Crater Health District. “By focusing on the unique needs of our area, we are starting to see meaningful change. We look forward to using this year’s County Health Rankings data to help inform our work.”

The Crater Health District (CHD), which includes the cities of Petersburg and Emporia, has hosted a number of training workshops over the last year on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), trauma-informed care and resilience within the district. The CHD also operates the HealthSpace Teen Clinic in both the Petersburg and Hopewell Health Departments to help decrease teen pregnancy rates. Efforts such as these have contributed to a 70% decrease in the teen pregnancy rate in Petersburg between 2000 and 2015. In addition, the CHD operates an evening Men’s Sexual Health Clinic at the Petersburg Health Department to help reduce sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV rates in the city.

The CHD has also established the Crater Healthy Corner Store Initiative to help create easy access points for fresh fruits and vegetables in community settings with the least amount of access. To assist residents with chronic disease self-management, the CHD provides toolkits and other resources to community groups to assist with blood pressure self-management.

For more information on the 2018 County Health Rankings, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org.

For more information on health resources throughout Virginia, visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/local-health-districts/.